News / Africa

Rights Groups Challenge Kenyan Remark on Displaced People

Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta, centre, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, left, stands with Gen Julius Waweru Karangi, right, Chief of the Defence Forces, as they watch the passing out parade and fly over by the Kenyan Air Force, Oct. 20, 2013.
Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta, centre, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, left, stands with Gen Julius Waweru Karangi, right, Chief of the Defence Forces, as they watch the passing out parade and fly over by the Kenyan Air Force, Oct. 20, 2013.
Gabe Joselow
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said all people displaced by post-election violence in 2007 and 2008 have been resettled.  Rights groups say that is untrue and accuse the president of trying to paper over the crimes for which he is facing charges at the International Criminal Court.  

It was a passing remark, delivered Sunday toward the end of a speech marking Kenya’s Mashujaa Day - a holiday honoring the heroes of independence.
President Kenyatta was describing how his administration was committed to moving beyond a “dark, backward and dangerous past” in which Kenya was torn apart by ethnic violence.

“We have already made important strides in this regard, through equitable appointments in the Cabinet and public service. We have also resettled all internally displaced persons and are doing all we can to allow them to integrate back into society,” he said.

Kenyatta was referring, in part, to more than 500,000 people who were displaced during the inter-ethnic fighting that followed the disputed presidential election in 2007. He and his deputy, William Ruto, are facing separate trials at the ICC for their alleged roles orchestrating the violence, which killed more than 1,100 people.
But rights groups say despite Mr. Kenyatta’s claim, thousands are still living in camps for internally displaced people.

Keffa Karuoya is the program officer with the Internal Displacement Policy and Advocacy Center in Kenya. “We had a meeting just about two weeks ago with all the leadership of the IDPs in the remaining camps. There were about 46 camps, and each camp was ranging between 50 and 100-plus,” Karuoya said.

The Kenyatta administration had previously announced an initiative to resettle all remaining internally displaced people by September 20. Families were to receive cash payments worth $4,700 (400,000 Kenyan Shillings) to help them find new homes.

Nick Omitto, chief executive officer of the Center for Human Rights and Democracy in Eldoret, Kenya, says the program has been ineffective and that thousands of people are still displaced.

He suspects Kenyatta’s remarks are part of an agenda to “hoodwink” the ICC into thinking the victims of the violence have been compensated.

“It’s creating an image to tell the world the country is at peace and there are no political IDPs on the streets and the post election violence of 2007 has settled - the dust has settled - but I believe that that’s not the true picture,” Omitto stated.

President Kenyatta is due to attend his trial at the ICC court in The Hague November 12.

Trial chamber judges ruled Friday the Kenyan president would not have to attend all of the proceedings in person, but his presence is required for the opening and closing statements of all parties and when victims testify.

You May Like

Beijing Warns Hong Kong Protesters, Cracks Down at Home

In suppressing protest news, China reportedly has arrested more than 20 people on the mainland who acted in support of Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters More

Competing Goals Could Frustrate Efforts to Fight Islamic State

As alliances shift and countries re-define themselves, analysts say long-standing goals of some key players in Middle East may soon compete with Western goals More

Child Sexual Exploitation to Worsen in SE Asia

Southeast Asia’s planned economic integration is a key step for boosting the region’s productivity, but carries downsides as well More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid